Following a Training Road map


This is a short excerpt from a forthcoming article in Training and Conditioning tentatively titled “Following a Training Road map.”

Eachjourney is unique, even if the destination is not. Sometimes theweather will be clear, other times stormy. Sometimes construction or aspecial event may slow you down or steer you toward another route. Ifyou’re taking a fully loaded truck, you’ll probably want to take adifferent route than if you have a sports car.

Similarly,no two athletes are the same. Even when it appears they’re going to thesame destination, they may need to get there via different routes. Eachsport has unique demands, as does each position or event within asport. Developing athletic performance is a complex process withseemingly endless variables in play.

However,to make the journey more manageable, you must look for similarities inmovements and common characteristics between sports and individualpositions. If you don’t, the complexity will be too great. You’lleither get lost entirely or revert to a one-dimensional trainingphilosophy and trade effectiveness for simplicity.

Regardlessof the destination, the most effective roads on the functional path areprogressive and sequential, giving the athlete increasingly difficultmovement problems to solve, a process known as adaptation. The body ishighly adaptable, and if left to its own devices, will find a way toget the job done. We do not need a detailed script or apaint-by-numbers approach. That only stifles an athlete’s creativityand limits their natural movement patterns. Still, you must have awell-planned progression that builds on previous gains to keep theathlete moving forward.

Therewill be speed limits, red lights, and construction zones along the way,all of which must be accounted for. While it may be tempting to ignorethose limits, doing so may actually slow you down if you end up beingpulled over for speeding, find yourself breaking down, or get into anaccident. Similarly, if you rush the adaptation process by havingathletes try to lift too much, too soon or move on to more complexmovements before mastering basic ones, you risk doing more harm thangood. Only the proper progression will lead you to your ultimateathletic destination.

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Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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